More than 50 U.S. and international rail industry leaders and outside experts in sustainability are attending the inaugural event to share insights into how sustainability can be incorporated into core business strategies and overall performance. The event is being held at GE's John F. Welch Learning Center in Ossining, N.Y.
Planned as an annual gathering, the symposium is designed to facilitate the exchange of ideas and best practices in sustainability.
"We all understand that rail transportation is the most environmentally friendly means to move freight and that we can reduce highway congestion and greenhouse gases by doing so," said Blair Wimbush, Norfolk Southern vice president real estate and corporate sustainability officer. "Given our use of diesel fuel for locomotive power, we also understand the need to improve our fuel economy. This symposium is a great opportunity to learn how to better measure and communicate the environmental impact of rail operations in order to take our sustainability efforts to an even higher level."
"With domestic and global railroads, industry influencers and sustainability thought leaders in attendance, this is an ideal forum to have a candid dialogue on where the industry is from a sustainability perspective, where it can be and what it takes to get there," said Pete Lawson, ecomagination leader at GE Transportation.
Speakers and panelists at the symposium are covering topics such as best practices in carbon, energy and water management; ways to leverage sustainability to increase profitability, efficiency and business value and how to effectively communicate the sustainability message to customers, employees and the public.